Gingerbread

Stuart Gingerbread Moulds

Stuart Gingerbread Moulds

 

Early modern gingerbread is extremely different to modern gingerbread biscuits. It is made from finely grated white bread mixed with lots of honey. (There is also another early modern incarnation of gingerbread made of a mix of ginger, sugar, water, and almonds left to dry). If you have a mould and some edible glitter, you can make it look nice (see e.g. http://www.godecookery.com/ginger/ginger.htm). The addition of sandalwood essence (for the sandalwood bark – ‘saunders’ – used by Hannah Woolley) is good, if you can find any – sandalwood essential oil is edible.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups honey

3 cups finely grated breadcrumbs

1 cup red wine

4 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp pepper

pinch of aniseed

couple of drops of sandalwood essence (optional)

flour or ground almonds to thicken as needed

 

Method:

Heat up the honey and stir in all the other ingredients. If it doesn’t make a thick paste as it is, add some flour or ground almonds. Leave to cool slightly, then bake in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Small pieces

Small pieces

 

Main recipes we used:

To make Ginger-bread.

Take a quart of Honey, and set it on the coals and refine it, then take Ginger, Pepper, and Licorise of each a penny-worth, a quarter of a pound of Anniseeds and a penny-worth of Saunders; beat all these and searce them, and put them into the Honey, add a quarter of a pint of Claret-Wine, or old Ale, then take three penny Maunchets finely grated, and strew it amongst the rest, and stir it till it come to a stiff paste, make them into Cakes and dry them gently (Hannah Woolley)

To make fine Gingerbread:

Take three stale Manchets, grate them, dry them, and beat them; then sifSingle illegible letter them thorow a fine sieve; then put to them one ounce of Ginger beaten and searced fine, as much Cinnamon, half an ounce of Aniseeds, and half an ounce of Liquorice, half a pound of sugar; boyll all these together with a quart of Claret Wine till it come to a stiffe paste; then mould it on a Table with a little Flower, and roul it very thin, and print it in moulds; dust your moulds with some of your powdered spices. (Hannah Woolley, Rare Receipts for cookery , 167o)

To make drie Gingerbread.

Take halfe a pound of almonds and as much grated cake, and a pounde of fine sugar, and the yolke of two newe laid egges, the iuyce of a Lemmon, and 2 graines of muske, beate all these together till they come to a paste, then print it with your molds, and so dry it vpon papers in an ouen after your bread is drawne. (Sir Hugh Plat, Delights for Ladies, 1602)

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Artichoke Pie

He couldn't be prouder of her for finding an artichoke

He couldn’t be prouder of her for finding an artichoke

We didn’t make very much of this because we thought a sweet artichoke pie would taste weird. How wrong we were. This is one of the most delicious things we have ever made.

Makes a small pie: 2 big slices

Ingredients:

For the filling

Pastry (home made or we used ready-made puff pastry)

1 artichoke

1 lemon

handful of dates

1-2 tsp ginger

1-2 tsp cinnamon

For the sauce:

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup sugar

juice of 1 lemon

50g melted butter

How to make it

Cut off and discard the top and bottom off the artichoke. Remove and discard the tough outer leaves. Put the artichoke in a pot of water with some sliced lemon, bring to the boil and then simmer until the artichoke is soft and the leaves come away easily (roughly 30 mins). Grease a small ovenproof dish and line it with pastry, leaving some pastry aside to make a lid for the pie. Scrape and cut all the soft bits of the artichoke from the stem and the bottom of the leaves and season them with ginger and cinnamon. Place the artichoke in the pastry along with chopped dates. Whisk the sauce ingredients together, adjusting quantities of lemon/wine/sugar if you need to so that it tastes sweet but also tart. Pour half the sauce into the pastry case so the date and artichoke filling is covered. Use the rest of the pastry to make a lid for the pie. Cut some big slits in the lid and pour the rest of the sauce over to fill up the pie and make a glaze. Bake in the oven until the pastry starts to go golden brown.

ingredients for artichoke pie

ingredients for artichoke pie

pie filling

pie filling

ready to go in the oven

ready to go in the oven

artichoke pie

artichoke pie

Así termina
en paz
esta carrera
del vegetal armado
que se llama alcachofa,

(‘Thus ends in peace the career of the armoured vegetable called Artichoke’)

– Pablo Neruda: Ode to the Artichoke/Oda a la Alcachofa

Main Recipes we used:

William Rabisha, The Whole Body of Cookery (1661): BOyl the bottoms of about eight or ten Artichokes, scrape them, and make them clean from the core; season them with Cinamon, Sugar, Nutmeg, Salt, with a little small Pepper; take the Marrow of four Ox-bones, seasoned with the like seasoning, (except Pepper) lay your Arti|chokes in the Coffin prepared, then lay your Marrow all over them, being wrapt up in the yolk of an egg, and grated bread, that it may not melt; you may also boyl the stalks of your Artichokes (near the bottoms) and season the pith thereof, as aforesaid, cutting them about three inches long, and put them in with your Marrow, and put amongst it quartered Dates, sliced Lemmon, and large Mace, so put on Butter and close your Pie; let your lear be White-wine, and Sack, with a little Sugar, beaten up with the yolk of an egg and drawn Butter; when it is enough, put it in at the funnel, shake it together, scrape on Sugar, and garnish it, and send it up.

Hannah Woolley, The Compleat Servant Maid (1677): Take the Bottom of six Artichokes, and boyl them very tender, put them in a dish and some vinegar over them, season them with Ginger and Sugar, a little Mace whole and put them in a Coffin of Paste, when you lay them in, lay some marrow and dates sliced, and a few Raisins of the Sun in the bottom with good store of Butter, when it is half baked take a Gil of Sack being boyl’d first with the Sugar and a peel of Orange, put it into the Pye and set it into the Oven again till you use it.

Hannah Woolley, The Queen Like Closet (1670):  Make your Paste…and roule it thin, and lay it into your baking-pan. Then lay in butter sliced thin, and then your bottoms of Artichokes tenderly boil|ed, season it with a little salt, a little gross Pepper, and some sliced Nutmeg, with a blade or two of Mace and a little Sugar, then lay in some Marrow, Candied Orange and Citron Pill, with some Candied Eringo Roots; then cover it with butter, and close it with your Paste, and so bake it, then cut it up, and put in white wine, butter, and the yolks of Eggs and sugar, cover it again, and serve it to the Table.

M.B., The Ladies Cabinet Enlarg’d (1664): Boil your Artichokes, take off all their leaves, pul out all the strings, leaving only the bot|tomes; then season them with Cinnamon and sugar, laying between every Artichoke a good piece of butter; when you put your Pie into the oven, stick the Artichokes with slices of Dates, and put a quarter of a pint of white wine into the Pie, and when you take it out of the oven, do the like again, with some but|ter, sugar and Rosewater, melting the butter upon some coals before you put it into the Pie.

Thomas Tryon, The Way to Save Wealth (1695): Take Artichokes and cut away the green Leafs from the bottom, till the Bones look white, then boil the bottoms as much as if they were to be eaten; take out the Core, and season the Bottoms, (being cut in four parts, as you did the Potatoes) put all things into that Pye [some Dates cut in half, a little Mace, some Barberries, or Grapes, or Lemons, some Citron-Suckets; then put in half a pound of Butter, and close it, and bake it.]